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Second Severn Crossing reopens after blockade

Police say the Second Severn Crossing has reopened westbound following a blockade by Kurdish protesters.

The protest caused the Severn Bridge to shut after demonstrators stopped their cars in the middle of the motorway.

The protesters pictured with police on the side of the motorway Credit: Josh Jones

Around 15 people stopped traffic and held up a Kurdish flag half way across the motorway bridge between England and Wales.

Credit: ITV Wales

Eyewitnesses say the group were yelling anti-Turkish slogans. The demonstration started at 1.30pm and lasted for an hour.

Watch this eye-witness video taken from a vehicle passing the protest.

A police spokeswoman has said motorists were not impressed by the demonstration holding up traffic.

The bridge was closed for a while while we dealt with the situation and traffic was diverted across the old Severn Bridge.

"The second crossing has since reopened in both directions.

Motorists caught up in the backlog of traffic were unimpressed.

– Gwent Police

Police have yet to confirm if there have been any arrests and the roads are now clear.


The cause of the problems on the M4 and M48

Police say recovery of the overturned lorry is a "significant challenge" Credit: Avon & Somerset Police

There are long delays on the M4 westbound near Bristol. It was caused by a lorry that overturned between J21 for the M48 and J22 for the M49 at 6.30am this morning. There is congestion right back to J18 for Bath.

Police say removing the overturned lorry has proved to be a "significant challenge". The operation is ongoing.

Meanwhile the Highways Agency is advising motorists to divert via the M48 towards Wales using the original Severn Bridge, although this is also very congested as a result of the extra traffic from the closure.

Delays on the M4 and M48 westbound near Bristol

The M4 is closed westbound between Junction 21 (M48) and Junction 22 (M49). It is due to accident investigation and recovery work after a lorry overturned at 6.30am.

It is causing major congestion back to the M32.

Drivers are being advised to divert via the M48 towards Wales using the old Severn Bridge but be warned the closure is having a knock on effect and there are heavy queues at the Toll Booths.

Scrap the Severn Bridge tolls, say UKIP

Nigel Farage launches UKIP's campaign to scrap the tolls. Credit: Benjamin Wright/PA Wire

UKIP say tolls should be scrapped once the Severn bridges return into public ownership.

The Government says VAT will be scrapped on charges in 2018, but on a visit to the Welsh side of the bridge today, UKIP's leader Nigel Farage called for the fee to be completely abolished.

Severn Bridge toll will increase on New Year's Day

Severn Bridge allows drivers to travel from England to Wales Credit: ITV West Country

The toll to cross the Severn Bridge will go up from the first of January.

The price for a car to cross will go up by ten pence - costing £6.50. While the charge for small vans and buses will increase by 30 pence to £13.10. The tolls increase every January. Money raised is used to maintain the crossing.


Missing teenage girl

A 15 year old girl has gone missing from her home in South Gloucestershire. Caitlin Andrew lives in Pilning, near Severn Beach.

She hasn't been seen since lunchtime on Sunday.

It's thought she may have gone to the Stapleton Road area of Bristol. She has gone missing from home before.

Caitlin is around 5'2"tall and was last seen she was wearing light blue jeggings, a plain black hooded jacket and black daps.

She was carrying a large beige shoulder handbag.

Caitlin Andrew

Severn bridge tolls will not rise for two years

No decision has been made about what will happen to the Severn bridge tolls once the outstanding debt has been repaid, MPs heard today.

The private company operating both crossings is due to hand them back to the Government in the summer of 2018.

But tolls will remain at current levels for at least two years after that. The Transport Minister Stephen Hammond MP told Welsh MPs that the Government needed to recover extra maintenance costs, but denied the tolls were being used to raise extra money for the Treasury.

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